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Suicide Prevention

Dear Friend of New Horizons: September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month. Mental health providers across the nation are reaching out to communities to engage in open discourse, providing vital information how to detect the signs of suicide and what to do when they are apparent. Long considered a taboo subject, the time has come to address the issue of suicide directly -- without embarrassment, shame or guilt. According to the Florida Department of Health Vital Statistics, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for men and women ages 25 - 34, and the third leading cause of death among youth ages 10 - 24. That’s more than any kind of cancer, diabetes or drownings. On the Treasure Coast alone, 320 people have died by suicide in the past four years, including nine teenagers. Experts say that suicide is preventable through proper education. One highly touted approach being practiced by select Florida agencies is called QPR: question if someone is suicidal, persuade that person to get help, and refer him or her to a certified mental health professional. New Horizons is the only local mental health agency certified in QPR. To learn about the Zero Suicide Initiative, QPR and more, please joins us in a series of discussions: Sept. 9, 9-11 a.m., Heathcote Botanical Gardens: Lisa Pettey, Ashley's Voice Foundation, "A Mother's Journey;" and Melissa Witmeier, Florida Council for Community Mental Health, "Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Workshop" Sept. 10, World Suicide Prevention Day: noon, moment of silence in memory of lives lost to suicide; 8 p.m. light a candle for the families who have lost loved ones to suicide. Sept. 16, 10 a.m., Fort Pierce Library, Melody Lane - Lewis Baker, Peer Specialist, “Lived Experience;” and Dr. Deborah Dreher, New Horizons, “What happened to you?: Healing from life’s traumatic events.” Sept. 23, 10 a.m., Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens, “Suicide and Teens”, Martha Alamo, RN, New Horizons (Spanish and English). Kindly RSVP to this email. Admission is free and continental breakfast will be served.

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